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REGULAR MEETING - ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
Proceedings had and testimony taken in the matters of the ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS, at City of Novi, 45175 West Ten Mile Road, Novi, Michigan, Monday, November 5, 2007.
1 Novi, Michigan
2 Monday, November 5, 2007
3 7:30 p.m.
4 - - - - - -
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Call the meeting to
7 order. We're going to call the meeting to
8 order. It says 8:30 on the wall but it's
9 actually 7:30.
10 So, Robin, would you please call the
11 roll for attendance.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
13 MEMBER BAUER: Present.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Canup?
15 MEMBER CANUP: Here.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Fischer?
17 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Present.
18 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
19 MEMBER KRIEGER: Here.
20 MS. WORKING: Chairman Shroyer?
21 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Here.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
23 MEMBER SANGHVI: Here.
24 MS. WORKING: Member Wrobel?
1 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Absent excused.
2 All right, at this time if Member
3 Canup would please lead us in the Pledge of
5 MEMBER CANUP: I pledge allegiance to
6 the flag of the United States of America and
7 to the Republic for which it stands, one
8 nation under God indivisible with liberty
9 and justice for all.
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you, Member
11 Canup. If you would, Vice-Chair, would you
12 please read the rules of conduct for this
14 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Thank you, Mr.
16 Please note you can find a copy of all
17 the rules of conduct on the front page of
18 the agenda tonight. Please be sure to turn
19 off all pagers and cell phones during the
20 meeting. An applicant or representative
21 will be asked to come forth, state their
22 name and address and be sworn in by our
23 Secretary. Applicants will be allowed five
24 minutes to address the Board to present
1 their case. An extension of time may be
2 granted at the discretion of the
4 Anyone in the audience who wishes to
5 address the Board regarding the current case
6 will be asked by the Chairperson to raise
7 their hands and be recognized. Once
8 recognized the audience members addressing
9 the Board will be sworn in and given three
10 minutes to speak if speaking on behalf of an
11 individual or ten minutes if representing a
13 Members of the audience will be
14 allowed to address the Board once unless
15 directly questioned by the Board or the
17 The Secretary will read the
18 number of public meeting -- public hearing
19 notices mailed pertaining to each case. An
20 objection and approval responses will be put
21 into the record. The Chair will ask for
22 input from the Community Development
23 Department, Ordinance Enforcement Officer,
24 Planning Department and the City attorney.
1 The Chairperson will then turn the
2 case over to the Board for discussion,
3 clarification, questions and entertainment
4 of a motion.
5 Impromptu statements from the audience
6 during the discussion by the Board or at any
7 time will be considered out of order and
8 will not be tolerated. A roll vote will be
9 taken to approve or deny the motion on the
10 table and the next case will be called.
11 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
12 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. The
13 Zoning Board of Appeals is a Hearing Board
14 empowered by the Novi City Charter to hear
15 appeals seeking variances from the
16 application of Novi Zoning Ordinances. It
17 takes a vote of at least four members to
18 approve a variance request and a vote of the
19 majority present to deny a request.
20 The Board consist of seven regular
21 members and one alternate member. The
22 alternate member has the right to
23 participate in all Board discussions and
24 hearings, but may not vote except in the
1 absence or abstention of a regular Board
3 We do have a shortage on the Board
4 currently. Our alternate member is in
5 position to vote this evening. We do have a
6 quorum, so it is an official meeting.
7 The meeting is of the Monday, November
8 5th, 2007 regular meeting Zoning Board of
9 Appeals for the City of Novi.
10 At this time is there any additions or
11 corrections to the agenda?
12 MS. WORKING: Chairman Shroyer, I
13 would like to add the approval of the
14 October 9th, 2007 ZBA Minutes to the agenda.
15 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. Any
16 other changes, additions? Entertain a
17 motion for approval?
18 MEMBER SANGHVI: So moved.
19 MEMBER BAUER: So moved.
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: It's been approved
21 -- motion for approval as amended.
22 All those in favor say aye?
23 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
24 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Opposed same sign.
1 Okay, we have an agenda.
2 At this time I will open up the
3 meeting for comments from the public. Is
4 there anyone in the audience that cares to
6 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, one thing.
7 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Yes, sir.
8 MR. SCHULTZ: We do have a member
9 missing, Member Wrobel, who is sort of the
10 Planning Commission delegate. Member
11 Krieger is sitting as the alternate
12 typically for Mr. Gatt whose position we
13 haven't filled yet. Typically you ask the
14 proponent, it's just presumably a formality
15 at this point with this proponent, but to
16 make sure that they are okay with proceeding
17 without a full seven member board. You may
18 want to make that inquiry.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: We have made it a
20 policy of the Board in the past to offer
21 that to our Applicants. We do not have a
22 full Board. Is it your wish to proceed?
23 MR. SMITH: It is, Mr. Chairman.
24 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: The Applicant has
1 indicated that he does wish to proceed.
2 Now, is there anyone in the audience
3 who cares to speak in front of the ZBA?
4 Seeing none.
5 What we're going to do this evening is
6 I am going to ask for, I should say, brief
7 opening comments from the City attorney or
8 staff and then brief opening comments from
9 the Applicant. Then we will request a
10 presentation from staff and then a
11 presentation from the Applicant.
12 So at this time do we have opening
13 comments from staff or attorney?
14 MR. SCHULTZ: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
15 Just very briefly, sort of an overview as to
16 how we got here tonight. This is the second
17 proceeding, the original hearing including
18 the public hearing portion of the case was
19 heard on September 11th and was tabled.
20 There was a request by the Board for
21 materials from City staff in response to the
22 materials submitted along with the
23 application and subsequent to the initial
24 application by the Applicant. Those
1 documents were provided to the Board on
2 October 4th. There was a tabling then at
3 the request of the Applicant to tonight's
4 meeting which is a regular meeting for
6 So that's kind of the background. We
7 have now on Friday got an additional
8 submission from the Applicant which I
9 believe everybody got delivered on Friday,
10 whether they got to it or not. We don't
11 have a specific response prepared for that.
12 Certainly not from my office and I don't
13 believe any of the consultants have
14 submitted anything either.
15 One thing I do have, though, is a
16 brief letter that was at your place or was
17 hopefully transmitted to you during the day
18 today in response to two things in Mr.
19 Smith's Friday letter.
20 The first comment I guess relates to
21 the suggestion in Mr. Smith's memorandum
22 that somehow the City staff or City
23 Attorney's office has stepped out of its
24 usual role here and become an advocate. The
1 letter explains that from our perspective we
2 did what the Board requested, provided
3 additional information in sort of the normal
4 course that we would take with that kind of
5 a request.
6 The other item, though, was
7 essentially an agreement with Mr. Smith in
8 the first part of his memorandum. He
9 reminds the Board that you are, indeed, an
10 independent Body and make up your own mind
11 based on upon all of the information you get
12 from the public, from the Applicant, the
13 staff. None of us make the decision for
14 you. You evaluate independently and are
15 obligated to make whatever decision you
16 believe is appropriate based upon that
17 information considered in total.
18 I am hoping I didn't need to remind
19 you of that, but just to make clear I wanted
20 to have something in writing as well echoing
21 in a sense what Mr. Smith put in his
23 So that's all I have for the City's
1 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. I did
2 neglect to review the October 9th, meeting
3 Minutes, so at this time I will regress
4 slightly and look at our October 9th
5 Minutes. Is there any corrections or
6 additions to the Minutes?
7 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Motion to
8 approve as submitted.
9 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I have a motion by
11 Vice-Chair Fischer and a second by Member
13 All in favor say aye?
14 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
15 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: All opposed same
16 sign? The Minutes have been approved.
17 Sorry for the delay with that.
18 Is the Applicant prepared to make a
19 brief statement at this time?
20 MR. SMITH: I think I'll withhold the
21 statement, Mr. Chairman, with your
22 permission and just make a presentation.
23 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay, that's fine.
24 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Point of
1 order, Mr. Chair. Are we going to him or
2 the City staff next?
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: City staff.
4 MR. SCHULTZ: Just so we're clear, the
5 only presentation I think is going to come
6 from the planning staff. Here present in
7 the audience, though, are Robin Royal (ph)
8 from Berchill, Royal (ph), the planning
9 consultant and Dan Tomlinson from Stout,
10 Risius, Ross. Hopefully those consultants
11 prepared reports that were in the city's
12 materials. They are also additional people,
13 Karen Reinowski and Kristin Kapelanski from
14 the Planning Department here essentially as
15 a resource for the Board.
16 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: So they're
17 available for our questions later. Thank
19 Ms. McBeth, are you prepared to make a
21 MS. McBETH: Thank you. I am. I
22 wanted to go over just briefly the five
23 reports that the Planning Review Center
24 provided for the Zoning Board of Appeals'
2 We have provided the five reports kind
3 of in keeping with the idea that the
4 Applicant made a number of points and we
5 were trying to answer those as briefly and
6 succinctly as we could.
7 The first report related to master
8 plan and zoning and is similar to other
9 reports that this Board has seen. It
10 provided some general property
11 characteristics of the subject site
12 including the site size, the zoning and the
13 land uses for the site and the surrounding
15 The master plan for land use section
16 of that report provided some historical
17 information regarding master plan
18 recommendations for the property over the
19 years. We found that most of the master
20 plans that had been approved over the years
21 recommended either industrial or light
22 industrial uses for the property.
23 Our report also noted that the 2004 master
24 plan for land use recommended a Downtown
1 West designation for the subject property
2 and surrounding areas with additional study
3 recommended for that area.
4 The master plan for land use as you
5 know is currently under review for this
6 particular area as well as two other areas
7 within the community and we are expecting
8 that that will be completed some time near
9 the beginning of the year.
10 The report also continued by providing
11 some additional description of the uses
12 permitted in the Expo District including
13 Exposition facilities as well as additional
14 uses that are permitted in conjunction with
15 an Exposition Center. Certain light
16 industrial uses are also permitted in the
17 Expo District provided that there is no
18 exposition use on the property.
19 The second report was really a
20 comparison of Trade Centers and Exposition
21 Centers and we started with one of the
22 stated intents of the Expo District is that
23 it be designed to accommodate the
24 development of a planned Exposition facility
1 including exhibit halls. Our Department
2 looked into the standard definitions for
3 Exposition facilities and exhibits for
4 further clarity into the meaning of those
5 words that are found in the Ordinance. And
6 we also found some definitions from the
7 Convention Industry Council for how those
8 words are utilized in that industry.
9 That second report also contains some
10 research on two local Trade Centers, the
11 Gibraltar Trade Centers, one of those is in
12 Taylor and the other is in Mount Clements.
13 There was also a small sampling of
14 Exposition centers around the country and
15 locally including the Rock Financial
16 Showplace. Some analysis and comparison was
17 done by the Community Development Department
18 for information for the ZBA for those uses.
19 The third report really discussed was
20 in answer to the Applicant's suggestion that
21 the City Zoning Ordinance is attempting to
22 exclude an otherwise legitimate use. And as
23 we noted our earlier opinion based on the
24 information supplied by the Applicant and it
1 remains our opinion that the proposed use is
2 purely a very intense retail use.
3 We note that there is a myriad of Novi
4 Zoning Districts that allow retail uses.
5 These districts allowing retail uses are
6 provided throughout the community and as
7 recommended by the master plan for land use.
8 We also noted that there is an Ordinance
9 provision that addresses unlisted uses and
10 that is a reminder for the ZBA that there is
11 a set of procedures out there, if there was
12 a use that it was overlooked and not
13 included in the Ordinance or the set of
14 procedures for addressing that.
15 The fourth report was regarding the
16 Applicant's comments regarding the internal
17 and external similarities and differences
18 between the proposed uses of the Novi Trade
19 Center and the previous uses of Novi Expo
20 Center. Just briefly some of the
21 differences noted is that there would be a
22 reduction in available parking for the
23 building based on the plan that was
24 submitted by the Applicant.
1 There appears to be a reduction from
2 two points of access to one point of access
3 to the main road system in the area as well
4 as a number of other modifications from the
5 approved site plan. The internal
6 differences were identified by reviewing the
7 2003 events that were held at the Novi Expo
8 Center as compared to the events proposed
9 for the Novi Trade Center. Several
10 differences that we noted included the
11 average length of the events, the number of
12 event halls that were used for the events
13 and the variety of events as well as the
14 perceived flexibility of the floor plan
15 within the building.
16 The final report related to the use
17 variance request. We cited the section of
18 the Ordinance in which a use variance can be
19 sought. The ZBA may consider use variances
20 only in cases where the Applicant shows
21 undue hardship exist through evidence of all
22 of the four standards provided in the
24 I can discuss this in greater detail
1 if you would like, but just to summarize,
2 it's the opinion of our Department that the
3 Applicant has not demonstrated for the
4 official record that undue hardship exist
5 sufficient for the ZBA to grant a use
6 variance that meets all four standards of
7 the Ordinance.
8 Finally, we just provided some maps so
9 that you could identify where the property
10 was and the surrounding properties.
11 Thank you, Mr. Chair.
12 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. It
13 looks like that we're at a point where we're
14 ready for a presentation from the Applicant.
15 MR. SMITH: I told Kevin to be sure
16 that I moved that thing out of the way or I
17 would hurt myself getting up. It's been a
18 long time since I have sat in a class and
19 used those. A long time and many pounds
20 ago. My name is Scott Smith.
21 I'm with the law firm of Clark Hill and I'm
22 going to make a response tonight. With me
23 are Ralph Lametti (ph), the Trustee of the
24 Trust that owns the property. And Kevin
1 Adell who would be operating the Novi Trade
2 Center as well as Dan McCleary (ph), and you
3 have an affidavit from him. Dan is from CB
4 Richard Ellis and is the person who spoke
5 about the inability to use that property for
6 any of the purposes that they're allowed
7 under the Industrial Zoning Ordinance. That
8 would be Sections 1901 and 1902, I believe,
9 of the Zoning Ordinance. And he is here if
10 you have some questions.
11 Beyond that, both we and the City's
12 representatives have filed significant
13 information. Probably more than you have
14 dealt with in most if not all of your ZBA
15 cases. Certainly more than I usually deal
16 with in a ZBA matter. It shows that we in
17 the City view things from a bit of a
18 different perspective. I am not going to
19 reiterate any of that information. It will
20 speak for itself.
21 Instead, you know, at the September
22 meeting, Member Sanghvi said that this won't
23 be a confrontational relationship. We're
24 assuming that reflects the Board's desires
1 and also wish to be here to problem solve.
2 Of course, we needed to file materials to
3 reasonably protect our legal position and
4 that forces us to focus on differences we
5 have with the City. That is not, however,
6 our desired approach. That's an approach I
7 had to take in filing things.
8 But I think we ought to look at this
9 site for the facts that are there. It's a
10 site with a building on it that's 40 years
11 old. Built in 1966, I believe. It's got
12 support columns that are 40 feet on center.
13 It's got 18 foot ceilings. It's a large
14 open undivided space. There are limited
15 truck wells and limited locations without
16 the space to add truck wells and other
17 locations. The main access is from a road
18 that suffers real traffic issues at peak
19 weekday traffic hours.
20 The renovation for accommodating other
21 uses was extensively reviewed by a
22 structural and civil engineer as Mr.
23 McCleary speaks of in his Affidavit and by a
24 commercial and industrial general
1 contractor. Cost of raising the roof to
2 make it higher for warehousing or industrial
3 kinds of uses is upwards of $40 a square
4 foot. Cost of subdividing it to accommodate
5 multiple smaller users, many of those uses
6 listed in Sections 1901 and 1902 such as R&D
7 uses and so forth are users who would use
8 somewhere between 5,000 and 30,000 square
9 feet. We would need to put in walls deck to
10 deck and accompanying reworking of the HVAC
11 system, fire suppression systems and
12 plumbing systems in the building, and that
13 too is cost prohibitive.
14 The cost of retrofitting the building
15 for any of the uses listed in Sections 1901
16 and 1902 are huge in comparison with the
17 possibility of any kind of marketability or
18 return on that investment. It would be an
19 upside down building with no possibility of
20 getting those costs back.
21 Quite frankly, the Michigan economy
22 has changed. The Michigan economy has
23 changed so that there is less need for
24 industrial buildings such as this and big
1 industrial spaces. Industrial jobs have
2 migrated out of the state. We're now
3 looking at a state that's focusing on a high
4 tech service economy and the kinds of things
5 for which this building and this site is
7 We also looked at the possibility of
8 demolishing the building and marketing the
9 property, but Mr. McCleary has indicated
10 that there is not a huge market demand for
11 that property right now for any of the uses,
12 even if it were vacant for any of the uses
13 listed in Sections 1901 and 1902.
14 There are buildings throughout the
15 state that are abandoned, being leased at
16 losses and so forth. For example, there is
17 one building available on Schoolcraft Road
18 in Livonia in an industrial district. It's
19 got 17 acres with I-96 access and relatively
20 easy I-275 access. It's being offered for
21 $2.35 a square foot. You can see that with
22 $40 per square foot of renovations you can't
23 make those and get any kind of rate of
24 return. You can't make the debt service on
1 those renovations with that kind of rental
3 That building has 18 truck wells and
4 docks. It was built about the same time.
5 It's got a 20 foot ceiling height. There is
6 a huge surplus of industrial buildings.
7 Many that our newer with higher ceilings and
8 more truck docks. And this building simply
9 isn't marketable for those kinds of uses.
10 So what do we do? Well, let's focus
11 on where we have some consensus and on where
12 you can go from here. I think we would all
13 agree that some use of that site is
14 desirable. We might disagree on what the
15 desirable use is, but some use of that site
16 is desirable. It will maintain the tax
17 base. It will assure that the property is
18 properly attended to. It will assist local
19 business by bringing more patrons into the
20 area. I think we would agree that finding a
21 use for the site is important.
22 We would agree I think that traffic
23 flows on Novi Road are a challenge during
24 peak traffic hours. We submitted a traffic
1 study done in 2006 by Tetratec that shows
2 that during those peak weekday traffic
3 hours, that road operates at a level F. It
4 doesn't go any lower. Dan McCleary, our
5 real estate expert also has resided in the
6 area, drives through it on a regular basis
7 and testified to that.
8 In fact, City officials and others
9 have expressed concern about that in some of
10 the materials that they filed. I think they
11 would agree that the City's long-term dream
12 for the site is to have it be Downtown West,
13 although that's not fully defined yet and
14 you are going through the master planning
15 process, it's our understanding that that
16 would focus on commercial entertainment and
17 cultural uses tying back to principle
18 shopping and business districts. Ideally
19 the sites would be available for that when
20 the economy picks up and when there is a
21 demand for those kinds of uses. It's a
22 desirable site for it because it's got high
23 visibility and so forth. The market simply
24 isn't there and isn't going to be there for
1 the foreseeable future.
2 I think we would agree that the
3 current site and the building on the site
4 presents some special challenges. The extent
5 of those challenges we may debate. And the
6 affect of those challenges on whether the
7 use is economically viable we may have some
8 differences of opinion on, but I think that
9 we would agree that a 40-year-old industrial
10 building of that kind presents some special
12 So the question is where do we go from
13 here? If you believe any of what we have
14 presented about the obsolescence of the
15 property with regard to Section 1901 and
16 1902 uses, then you know that some use of
17 the site needs to be found. If you believe
18 what City officials have presented about
19 their concerns about the Novi Trade Center
20 as we have presented it, you want to be sure
21 those concerns are appropriately and
22 reasonably addressed.
23 Allow me to make some suggestions that
24 might create a win-win situation for the
1 City, for the property owner and for the
2 public. First, I would invite you to make
3 clear whether or not you wish to see the
4 kind of outcome I discussed. If you don't
5 believe the Applicant's position at all,
6 then you should take action to deny both of
7 the Applicants' request, the interpretation
8 request and the variance request.
9 If, however, you believe there is some
10 merit to the Applicant's position, then you
11 have before you two alternative approaches
12 to addressing the issue. Either one, you
13 can agree with the Applicant's
14 interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance
15 finding that the Trade Center is an Expo
16 Center or so similar to one as to be
17 included in the Expo Center Zoning District.
18 We think that externally and
19 internally with a weekend use and the kinds
20 of exhibits that are going to be there and
21 so forth from a land use perspective, there
22 will be virtually no difference between what
23 the public sees with an Expo Center and what
24 the public sees with this Trade Center. Or,
1 two, you could decide that Ms. McBeth's
2 interpretation is correct, but that a use
3 variance is appropriate under the
5 Second, decide which of the two
6 approaches you prefer. There are advantages
7 and disadvantages of each approach. The
8 interpretation approach will make the Trade
9 Center a use by right. The use variance
10 allows you to attach reasonable conditions
11 but a granted use variance runs with the
12 land generally.
13 Third, identify the concerns you have
14 and address them in a clear thinking
15 cooperative problem solving kind of way.
16 Let me give you some examples and
17 suggestions. Traffic, because it will be
18 open only on Saturdays and Sundays, the
19 Trade Center will have no impact on peak
20 weekday traffic congestion. The Trade
21 Center would have less traffic impact during
22 peak hours than any other use suggested for
23 the site. Look at the possibility of a shift
24 change with 500 or so employees there plus
1 dozens of trucks going in and out each day
2 with any of the Section 1901 and 1902 uses.
3 Mr. Adell has said that
4 he has talked with an organization that
5 handles traffic and they are convinced they
6 can get traffic in and out of the site with
7 little disruption to the general public
8 using Novi Road. In fact, the Trade Center
9 will have less weekday traffic impact than
10 the Novi Expo Center that was and remains a
11 permitted use. That is, with the Novi Trade
12 Center because the exhibits will stay in
13 place for a couple of months at a time,
14 there won't be setup and take down during
15 the week because it's open only on Saturdays
16 and Sundays and not on Wednesdays, Thursdays
17 and Fridays as many of those trade shows
18 were, you won't have the weekday traffic
19 concern. So the traffic impact will
20 actually be less with the proposed Novi
21 Trade Center.
22 If granting a variance you could
23 impose conditions limiting its open hours to
24 Saturday and Sunday assuring traffic impact
1 is minimized.
2 The Trade Center may be the most
3 advantageous use of the site from a traffic
4 standpoint. I can't conceive of another use
5 which would have such minimal impacts and
6 impacts only on weekends.
7 Parking. There are 937 on-site
8 parking spaces. And I want to make that
9 very clear because I misstated it in my
10 memorandum and so did Mr. Schultz. Mr.
11 Schultz said there were 902 and in my
12 memorandum I said there were 952. There are
13 902 regular parking spaces and 35 handicap
14 parking spaces identified on the site plan
15 that I submitted.
16 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Mr. Smith, could
17 you stay at the microphone?
18 MR. SMITH: I need to stay at the
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Or pick up the hand
21 mic, either one.
22 MR. SMITH: I'm better when I move.
23 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Pick up the hand
1 MR. SMITH: To quote the Sundance Kid.
2 Twelve Oaks Mall has one space for
3 every 219 square feet. That is it's got
4 7,051 spaces for 1,545,000 square feet of
5 gross leasable area according to the Twelve
6 Oaks Mall website. If I take the gross
7 leasable area of the Novi Expo Center
8 building and divide it by the 937 parking
9 spaces, I get one for about 250 square feet.
10 Assuming that about 20 percent of the
11 294,000 square feet, that's the City's
12 estimate is not leasable and there is about
13 20 percent of that space that would not be
14 leased and used for the Trade Center purpose
15 or at least that much.
16 If approved, the Applicant will find
17 off site parking for all exhibitors and
18 shuttle them from the remote location to the
19 site. And we're willing to say if you
20 imposed a condition, that we will have to
21 show you that we have a binding agreement
22 for that. If there are 1,200 booths we
23 would, therefore, have 1,200 off-site
24 parking spaces making the total space 2,137
1 essentially creating one space for every 109
2 square feet of space.Again, you could make a
3 condition on here to address that concern.
4 Building code and fire code compliance
5 were addressed in some of the staff memos,
6 we would, of course, have to get a
7 certificate of occupancy and comply with the
8 building and fire codes.
9 Concerns about the type of exhibitors.
10 There were concerns raised in some of the
11 letters. There were concerns raised in some
12 of the staff memorandums or at least
13 references to that. It's a little amorphous
14 because nobody has identified for us what
15 specific concerns there are. But we suspect
16 that we have goals and desires in terms of
17 the exhibitors that are similar to yours.
18 This isn't going to be a Gibraltar Trade
19 Center. This is going to be an upscale
20 operation with preassembled booths and
21 people will move into the booths and be tide
22 to specific areas. If you can identify your
23 concerns in terms of the list of things you
24 don't want sold in terms of other kinds of
1 things, we're happy to have a reasonable
2 condition imposed.
3 Look, Kevin is a successful
4 businessman as I said, the success of the
5 Novi Trade Center is rather certain at this
6 point. There were 300 people here at the
7 September meeting. Four thousand people
8 have expressed interest. Kevin's approach
9 as I said before is to be sure there is a
10 market before he asks for permission or
11 before he begins setting something up.
12 As a successful businessman, Kevin is
13 at times impatient with the process. I can
14 certainly attest to that. There are many
15 times I have had phone calls from him, but
16 he does listen to market feedback and he his
17 committed to doing what I have presented in
18 writing and what we are on the record
19 presenting here. We'll stipulate to that.
20 We'll put conditions on it. We'll do
21 whatever we have to do to satisfy folks that
22 that's what's going to happen.
23 Future site redevelopment in
24 accordance with the long-term vision. No
1 significant investment in this site is
2 required to use it for the Trade Center.
3 That assures that it's available for a
4 long-term use consistent with the City's
5 master plan. Kevin knows that ultimately
6 and Ralph knows that ultimately this site is
7 better being redeveloped. Ultimately that's
8 the best use for it. Currently there is no
9 market for it. So, what we have to do is
10 make some use of it in the interim until
11 that market develops.
12 You now have a choice, this matter is
13 well advocated. Mr. Schultz and I could
14 certainly continue our point, counter-point
15 approach probably for weeks. He is an able
16 attorney, and though he claims that my work
17 on behalf of a property owner, maybe
18 especially this property owner, is a step in
19 working on the dark side as he puts it. And
20 some of my other municipal colleagues have
21 said the same thing. My guess is that he
22 would concede that at least some of our
23 points have some merit. You can
24 deny our request in their entirety leaving
1 us to press our case in other forums to find
2 a viable use of the property, or you can
3 agree there is some merit to these requests
4 and we can then together address any
5 lingering concerns you have.
6 The Adells have owned this site for
7 decades. They have paid taxes for decades.
8 Yet regardless of causation I am perceiving
9 that the relationship between Kevin Adell
10 and the City is prickly at best, and I'll
11 leave it at that.
12 But Kevin is very successful in
13 business and can be a real community asset
14 here. I believe it's possible to create
15 this relationship in a manner that will make
16 the Novi Trade Center a community asset
17 until such time as the property likely
18 together with adjoining property is ripe for
19 redevelopment in accordance with the
20 Downtown West concept.
21 So I would invite you to work with us.
22 And with that we'll answer any questions you
24 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you, Mr.
2 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair?
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Yes, sir.
4 MR. SCHULTZ: A quick comment. I
5 can't sort of let the way the thing ended go
6 without some sort of response. The City
7 doesn't have a prickly relationship with Mr.
8 Adell or anybody with an interest in that
10 This is land use question. The
11 exhibitors aren't an issue. The use is an
12 issue. The owners aren't an issue, the use
13 is an issue. That's the question that you
14 need to decide.
15 Mr. Smith and I apparently shared a
16 one-sided joke that we've had on my side
17 anyway, with any number of developers'
18 attorneys, Mr. Galvin, Mr. Hymann, you name
19 any of the number of people you see here.
20 Not the kind of thing you would expect to
21 hear repeated back during a ZBA proceeding
22 like this. But that is what it is. We
23 represent developers too. But here we
24 represent with the City. We're happy to
1 deal with any attorney, any property owner
2 and I think the Board should be clear that
3 this is a neutral evaluation or your part.
4 It's a land use question. Thank you.
5 MR. SMITH: My statement, Mr.
6 Chairman, was totally tongue and cheek --
7 I'm sorry. My statement was totally tongue
8 and cheek. I didn't mean any slam on Mr.
9 Schultz. I have laughed at the joke. I
10 laughed when we talked --
11 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Let's move on.
12 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: That's fine. We're
13 going to move forward. Thank you.
14 From the opening brief statement I
15 believe I heard the City state basically
16 that they weren't prepared to make any
17 comments on the packet received from last
18 Friday. Is that correct?
19 MR. SCHULTZ: I can speak for myself.
20 I think we got it on Friday and I was out.
21 Most of the time I spent was today and I
22 think Mr. Tomlinson, Mr. Royal, I don't
23 think anybody is prepared to make a
24 particular comment on what's in there. I am
1 certainly available to answer any questions
2 that you might have that come out of it.
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: All right, thank
5 At this point I will open up the
6 meeting to the ZBA for discussion and
7 questions. Who cares to begin?
8 MEMBER CANUP: You're the Chairman
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I am going to
11 reserve my comments for last.
12 Member Fischer?
13 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: First of all I
14 guess I would like echo Mr. Schultz's
15 comments that I am sorry you feel that this
16 may be a prickly relationship. I hope
17 that's not the case. I don't feel that way.
18 We're here every month deciding cases just
19 like this and I feel that none of the cases
20 that we have ever heard that I have had any
21 prickly relationship whatsoever. So let me
22 get that off my chest.
23 Certainly it is a lot of information
24 and unfortunately my first comment is that I
1 would like to request that we do get some
2 type of rebuttal back from the City
3 regarding the latest rebuttal we got from
4 Mr. Smith. But that said, Mr. Chair, I
5 would ask that the Board take a look at some
6 type of motion tonight at least saying that
7 there needs to be some type of final
8 information deadline to Mr. Smith's point.
9 We can sit here going back and forth time
10 and time again. So, I would like to make
11 sure that there is a decision coming forth
12 sooner rather than later and whatever we
13 decide tonight should we decide to ask for
14 additional information from our counsel, the
15 City attorneys or any other consultants that
16 we basically set aside two weeks or so that
17 these two attorneys can get their last
18 points in and that we're not getting into
19 the intricacies of the difference between
20 the word is and as and whatever else you
21 guys want to spend your time doing. So,
22 with that being said I'll go ahead and go
23 into some questions that I have.
24 I have seen a couple
1 different pieces of information that talk
2 about the different days of operation if one
3 of you want to come back up. Is Friday
4 night a night that you are planning on
5 having some type of event?
6 MR. SMITH: Friday night would be used
7 only for setup, that's it. It would be no
8 sales, no exhibits on Friday night. The
9 exhibits would be on Saturday and Sunday
11 MR. ADELL: I'm Kevin Adell. I'm the
12 property owner. Actually --
13 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: You want to
14 swear him in since he's part of the case?
15 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: He was sworn in
16 before. You are still sworn.
17 MR. ADELL: That's fine. Actually,
18 most of the booths would be setup in advance
19 so we wouldn't be open to the public on
20 Friday. So just Saturday and Sunday and we
21 could work out hours that would be flexible
22 to the City of Novi and to the public that
23 it wouldn't confer with traffic.
24 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Going to page
1 six of your memorandum, Mr. Smith, you talk
2 about the City, the Schultz's memorandum.
3 And we'll call it that.
4 MR. SCHULTZ: Only if you call his the
5 Smith memorandum.
6 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: I'm an
7 independent body, I'll call it what I want
9 To cite certain newspaper articles and
10 whatnot as far as what will be sold, I went
11 on the website today and it says you can
12 sell anything out there. On the record you
13 just stated that any stipulations that we
14 put on you are willing to live within the
15 means of those as long as they're
16 reasonable. What is your interpretation of
17 what can be sold and what kind of conditions
18 you feel is reasonable?
19 MR. SMITH: I presented that as part
20 of the application and we are talking about
21 collectibles and so forth and we are willing
22 to live with what's in that application
24 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Okay.
1 MR. SMITH: We have put it in writing
2 and we're willing to live with that.
3 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Just going
4 versus what's in writing versus what's being
5 advertised, that's what I'm trying to get
6 the clarification on.
7 MR. SMITH: I understand that. That's
8 why I was very careful tonight in saying
9 that we will stand by what's been submitted
10 and on the record here.
11 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: I go back to
12 my question regarding, you know,
13 marketability and you covered it to some
14 extent in your memorandum, the Schultz's
15 memorandum. We go back to the fact that it
16 states: That the market likely -- his
17 memorandum page nine: The market likely
18 will not support a second venue competing
19 for the same shows and the expositions the
20 Applicant intends would not be permitted.
21 And he is talking about competition with the
22 Rock Financial Showplace. Can I ask for
23 some clarification? To what extent are
24 market conditions such as competition
1 between two businesses part of a ZBA
2 determination like this?
3 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair. I
4 think you have our intent and my initial
5 memorandum. To address the question this is
6 Mr. Smith's somewhat different point of
7 view. And I guess I read this point in his
8 memorandum to say, well, the market can't
9 support two exposition centers. And I guess
10 one of the sort of overarching questions we
11 have about a number of things that are in
12 the submission is in order to make that
13 finding, in order to say okay, that makes
14 sense to me, there needs to be some basis
15 for the Board to say that.
16 Assume for a minute that you had
17 enough information by which you conclude,
18 okay, I accept that statement as true. From
19 a use variance perspective, you have got to
20 answer the question, okay, there is one use
21 that maybe isn't going to work. Assuming
22 you have satisfied that. You still got to
23 look at all the other uses and say
24 essentially the same thing. Is there a
1 market? Is there usability for any of these
2 other issues?
3 The point of the Planning staff's memo
4 on the question of the use variance and the
5 four standards in meeting the four standards
6 is, this is not just the Applicant who can
7 say you're wrong, this is any number of
8 other people who can look at the Board's
9 decision and say I want to challenge that
10 because they didn't make the right findings.
11 What Mr. Smith's task is is to prove
12 to you through the submission of evidence
13 that none of these uses that are permitted
14 in this District including the exposition
15 uses or the other ones that go along with
16 light industrial are viable, economically
17 viable and reasonable uses. Is the market
18 an issue for that? He takes the position
19 under case called Jansen that the market is
20 an issue. And I guess from our perspective,
21 what he has got to show is that the property
22 can't be used, isn't viable for every one of
23 those uses.
24 The market isn't really the major
1 factor in that. The market is a cyclical
2 thing. The market might be different a year
3 from now. If you look from some of the
4 stuff from CB Richard Ellis in terms of what
5 the market is doing, there is information
6 that they have that says the market could be
7 headed up shore in a year or two. You are
8 not predicting the market. You are looking
9 at the land use and whether the use makes
10 sense and whether there is any reasonable
11 return under any of those uses that can be
12 made. It's a whole range of issues you have
13 to look at not just the market.
14 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Reasonable
15 return under any market or the current
17 MR. SCHULTZ: Not just the current
18 market. The Jansen case, for example, which
19 Mr. Smith cites in his brief is a situation
20 where it's a 100 acre farm, master plan for
21 residential use, not agricultural and nobody
22 is farming in the area and the guy can't
23 even get enough farming to pay the taxes on
24 the property. So the court said that's a
1 financial hardship. Is there evidence here
2 that no use in here is going to get through
3 the next cycle? Is there any evidence
4 that's on the record here that the master
5 plan use is never going to work here?
6 That's the question.
7 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Thank you.
8 And that does actually lead me to one of my
9 points. What kind of financial analysis has
10 been done? You have talked and cited some
11 examples of cost of retrofitting and upside
12 down situations. Do you have any analysis
13 in a summary format that you could present
14 to the Board that shows the different
15 scenarios and the different retrofits that
16 you looked at versus what you could then
17 market it for and how it's upside down and
18 how long it would take to become break even,
19 et cetera?
20 MR. SMITH: I could do that in the
21 next week or so. We have talked at length
22 with the engineer and the contractor and Mr.
23 McCleary has talked at length with them and
24 they have done some rough calculations to
1 this point but they are not in a finished
2 presentable form. They're the kinds of
3 things that Mr. McCleary can rely on for his
4 opinion and reasonable parties would rely
5 upon to form an opinion, but they're not in
6 a format where they would make sense to you
7 at this point.
8 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Okay. And I
9 think --
10 MR. SMITH: I'm willing to do that.
11 If you want us to do that I'll be happy to
12 go through each of those uses and come up
13 with the cost of retrofitting it and why it
14 doesn't work.
15 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: And that would
16 be something, Mr. Chairman, I would continue
17 to look for obviously to determine the
18 possibility to turn this into something that
19 could have a reasonable return. I feel like
20 some type of financial evaluation would need
21 to take place. We don't have that in any of
22 our information from our side, their side,
23 anywhere. Plus I'm a finance guy, so I
24 guess that makes sense to me.
1 Looking to page 14 and
2 15 of your memorandum, you go through some
3 type of scenario here regarding the traffic
4 and you end with the logic of: To deny the
5 Applicant's request due to traffic would
6 essentially say that every possible use of
7 the property would be denied due to traffic
8 concerns rendering the property unusable.
9 Can you take me through that logic of that
10 paragraph because I didn't quite understand
12 MR. SMITH: Well, it goes to what I
13 said in my presentation. The traffic impact
14 of this use is the least impact of any use I
15 can imagine for this site. Every other use
16 including every use in the Zoning Ordinance
17 will have peak traffic hour impacts. If you
18 look at an industrial use with 500 or 800
19 cars parked there and you look at a shift
20 change or you look at what happens at 8:00
21 in the morning or at 5:00 in the evening, or
22 you look at the truck traffic that that
23 would bring in and out of the site as a
24 warehousing operation, an R&D operation or
1 anything else, you are looking at traffic
2 impacts that are huge in comparison to what
3 we have here where it's only off peak
4 weekend use that you have.
5 So, if you're saying that this has too
6 great a traffic impact, I can't conceive of
7 any other use that wouldn't have a greater
8 adverse traffic impact and therefore,
9 wouldn't be permitted because of the
11 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Any other use
12 under the Zoning Ordinance?
13 MR. SMITH: Under the current zoning,
14 that's correct. That's what I have to deal
15 with is only the current zoning.
16 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Okay. Moving
17 to the Affidavit from Angela Secor (ph),
18 page two of three discusses how she
19 categorize certain different shows. Can you
20 walk me through that a little bit?
21 MR. SMITH: Sure. She went to on-line
22 material for each of these shows and most of
23 the shows at the Expo Center or at the Rock
24 Financial Showplace are rotating or
1 wandering shows that kind of go from forum
2 to forum or place to place across the
3 country and she looked at those and those
4 shows are all designed to sell products.
5 That's the purpose of the shows. Most of
6 them are relatively intensive retail kinds
7 of things.
8 If you have a baseball card
9 collection, for instance, you come to buy,
10 sell and trade those baseball cards. If
11 you're a coin dealer going to a coin show
12 you are coming to buy, sell and trade coins.
13 The same for all of these, the gem shows,
14 the camper and RV show and so forth. So she
15 went through the data that the City
16 presented for the 2003 calendar year and
17 went to those websites and did an analysis
18 based on the website and what those websites
19 claim the shows are all about. And they are
20 about buying, selling and trading.
21 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: I guess
22 looking through that what I found
23 interesting about that analysis, Mr. Chair,
24 was of the consumer shows identified in any
1 of the filing appear to be primarily retail
2 events and talks about remodeling home
3 events, camper and RV, boats, pool and spas,
4 antique arms situations and talking about
5 the similar, dissimilar there. I have an
6 issue because any time I drove by when those
7 type of things were going on I didn't see
8 every single person walking out with a
9 camper or an RV or a boat as opposed to
10 something that I would consider this seems
11 to be a hyper retail I believe is the term
12 that was used. So, I just wanted to give my
13 points on the analysis there.
14 Moving along to the Affidavit by Mr.
15 McCleary. Given this, Mr. Schultz, this
16 Affidavit compared with the memorandum from
17 Mr. Hill, the Hill memorandum talks about
18 the difference between the property and the
19 building and how the interpretation or
20 appeal should be handled accordingly whether
21 we're looking at the building or we're
22 looking at the land. Can you speak to that
23 at all? I know it's a general and a vague
1 MR. SCHULTZ: And I think that's --
2 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: It seemed like
3 a lot of lawyer words.
4 MR. SCHULTZ: Yeah, and I think that's
5 one of the things that probably we would
6 like to respond to in writing because it's a
7 pretty significant point.
8 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER:
9 (Unintelligible). MR. SCHULTZ:
10 Sure. You know, the standards for the use
11 variance I think relate to more than just
12 the existing building or the existing
13 improvements. I think they relate to the
14 property as a whole and the mere fact that
15 somebody might have to put some money into a
16 building to make the property as a whole is
17 not enough to say I'm entitled to a use
18 variance. You got to look at the property
19 as a whole with everything on it. But
20 ultimately the value that the land might
21 have might be enough for you to say there is
22 plenty of use on this property.
23 You pick a different example, you have
24 got a residential home that you don't want
1 to spend the money into to have fixed up so
2 that you can rent it out, but you may have a
3 valuable piece of residential property.
4 It's no different for this just because it's
5 a bigger building with a bigger investment.
6 I think that's one section, just so
7 you know it's page 12 and 13. It talks
8 about the Zoning Ordinance provision at best
9 is ambiguous. We're talking about the
10 building versus property. And you can talk
11 about the standards that are set by the
12 courts as far as that goes. I would
13 definitely appreciate if you could respond
14 to that.
15 MR. SCHULTZ: Absolutely.
16 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Thank you.
17 I'll wait for those questions until I get
18 that response. Those were some of the
19 preliminary questions I wanted to go
20 through, Mr. Chair. I don't want to hog all
21 the time. I want to give other people
22 opportunities to ask some preliminary
23 questions as long as I reserve the right to
24 ask questions at a later time.
1 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: You may have it.
2 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Thank you, Mr.
4 CHAIRPERSON SHROYER: Thank you,
5 Member Fischer.
6 Other comments, questions by the
7 Board? Member Canup?
8 MEMBER CANUP: I had heard that there
9 had been an attempt to put a motor mall in
10 there back roughly a year ago where there
11 would be different vendors with automobiles
12 in there selling automobiles, etcetera.
13 What happened to that?
14 MS. KOSOVEC: Good evening.
15 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Have you been sworn
17 MS. KOSOVEC: I have not. I am an
18 attorney. I'm not sure if I need to be.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: You don't need to
20 be if you're an attorney.
21 MS. KOSOVEC: Right. I think Mr.
22 Smith said, I'm not sure what that says
23 about all of us. I am an attorney that
24 represents the Trust and I was involved in
1 the potential sublease for the auto mall
2 concept. Basically there was a decision
3 made that that was not a viable operation
4 for us and we are presently in arbitration
5 dealing with that issue at this point.
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: For the record did
7 you give us your name and address?
8 MS. KOSOVEC: Julie Kosovec.
9 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you.
10 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: An address?
11 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And an address?
12 MS. KOSOVEC: 322 North Old Woodward,
13 Birmingham, Michigan.
14 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you.
15 MEMBER CANUP: I guess my question
16 tonight to you would be, from the
17 information that I received about the motor
18 mall, it was a viable use. There were
19 people interested in coming in there, so
20 that to me demonstrates that there is other
21 uses other than the proposed use. And what
22 we have heard tonight is that there is
23 nothing else that would work there. And the
24 information that I received on that was that
1 the previous lease holder for personal
2 reasons, I guess with the Adell bunch or
3 group the thing fell apart. And it wasn't a
4 question that it wouldn't work, it was a
5 conflict with the lease holder and with the
7 MR. SMITH: It still isn't a use that
8 is allowable under the current zoning. It
9 would have required a rezoning.
10 MEMBER CANUP: But there is still
11 other uses for it other than a multiple
12 retail outlet which is what you are
14 MR. SMITH: The question is whether it
15 can be used as zoned, I think.
16 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Point well taken.
17 Other comments from the Board?
18 MS. KOSOVEC: If I could make one
19 other comment about that. There were
20 certainly a lot of issues relating to the
21 commercial reasonableness of that transition
22 that were not before the Board. That is the
23 central issue for the arbitration. That is
24 what we're dealing with. That proposed use
1 may have been submitted through preplanning
2 meetings, but at that point there had been
3 no feasibility studies done whatsoever and
4 we're dealing with that issue at this point.
5 And, although there was a concept
6 presented, there was no financial backing
7 for that at all. And I would be happy to
8 answer any other questions, but frankly I
9 thought we were here to deal with a
10 different issue not related to that.
11 MEMBER CANUP: I think the point of
12 the Board is to find all the facts that they
13 can whether they interest you or not and to
14 be able to make a decision on what can be
15 done or what the Board feels should be done
16 with that property.
17 MS. KOSOVEC: And at this point,
18 again, we did not think that that was a
19 viable option. The Trust did not.
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. We are
21 going to try to pursue all the information
22 that we feel might be necessary in making a
23 reasonable and rational decision.
24 I will go ahead and ask some of my
1 questions. I want to verify a couple
2 things. First of all, Mr. Smith, will you
3 come back up?
4 You indicated that the parking spaces
5 that are currently approved is actually the
6 937 as opposed to 952?
7 MR. SMITH: That's correct. There are
8 902 regular spaces and 35 handicap spaces.
9 There is a site plan that shows where those
10 are on the site and counts all of those
12 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And you had
13 indicated if need be, you would be able to
14 provide proof of secured additional parking?
15 MR. SMITH: We will provide off-site
16 parking before a C of O is granted or
17 however you want to condition that and
18 shuttle all of the exhibitors to the site.
19 We'll provide off-site parking for them all.
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: You discussed the
21 off-site parking for them, but you did not
22 discuss the other employees of the Expo such
23 as the ticket takers, housekeeping,
24 janitorial services, vendors, meaning food
1 vendors type things, laborers, management,
2 about how many additional employees would be
3 housed at the Expo on a typical weekend?
4 MR. ADELL: Thirty.
5 MR. SMITH: Kevin thinks about 30. We
6 can shuttle them as well. We'll commit to
7 doing that.
8 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: That's miniscule.
9 I thought it would be quite a bit higher.
10 One of the questions for the City is,
11 the Expo closed two or three years ago.
12 About how many additional businesses have
13 located in that area like within a half mile
14 or so? Just close to that area that would
15 also require additional traffic and things
16 like that?
17 MS. McBETH: You are referring to
18 additional businesses that have occupied the
19 general vicinity since the Expo Center
21 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I know they just
22 built a building for four retail people
23 between the doctor's office and Wendy's.
24 MS. McBETH: That's correct. South of
1 the Wendy's there is new retail building
2 that I believe has hot been occupied yet.
3 South of that there was a re-occupancy as an
4 existing building. Tenants come and go out
5 of the retail centers that are located
6 around that area. The Melting Pot I think
7 has come in, but that was kind of a
8 different restaurant previously. So, the
9 tenants come and go. That's a new building.
10 We're expecting other new buildings over at
11 the Town Center on the four out lots for the
12 Town Center there.
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Four out buildings
15 MS. McBETH: Four out buildings there.
16 The new wing at the Twelve Oaks Mall, the
17 new Nordstrom store. We are seeing a lot of
18 additional activity over there.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: When do we
20 anticipate the buildings coming on board at
21 Main Street?
22 MS. McBETH: We expect the first
23 building will start construction shortly.
24 They were talking about phasing that
1 development over the next coming year, so
2 possibly one building every year for the
3 next eight or ten years.
4 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And the building is
5 to be located just on the south side of
6 Grand River, west of Novi Road?
7 MS. McBETH: That's correct. There
8 was a demolition of the old Antique and Pine
9 Building and a new building would be
10 constructed at that location and then two
11 additional retail buildings along there as
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And obviously we
14 don't have a traffic study for anticipated
15 future use with those buildings coming in
16 and those businesses occupying.
17 MS. McBETH: I think the most recent
18 traffic study we have is the one that was
19 resubmitted with this request here which was
20 a 2006 I believe traffic study that was
21 associated with that auto mall.
22 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Chair, before you
23 leave the parking issue.
24 MR. CHAIRMAN: Yes, sir.
1 MR. SCHULTZ: I guess it may seem like
2 a matter of semantics, but I'm not sure that
3 it is. We've got this issue is it 902 or if
4 it's 952. It's only one site plan that's
5 ever been approved through the planning
6 process and that's for the old Expo site and
7 that shows by the accounting of the Planning
8 staff the lesser, the number that's
9 identified in their report. It may be that
10 they can get more spaces as shown on the
11 plan that they submitted along with their
12 application, but I don't think the Planning
13 staff has gone through and scaled that out
14 in the way that they normally would for a
15 site plan review. So, in terms of who is
16 right wrong, who is wrong, it's somewhere
17 between 902 and 952, but there is not an
18 approved plan at 952 that I know of.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: You can safely say
20 give or take 50.
21 MS. McBETH: That's correct. And if I
22 can add something if you don't mind to that
23 point as well. Usually the Zoning Ordinance
24 requires parking spaces to be on-site
1 parking spaces or within a certain limited
2 distance of the property. So any kind of
3 off-site approval if it's required parking
4 would require consideration of a study and
5 approval by the Planning Commission for a
6 modification for something like.
7 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. Has
8 either side, does anybody know about how
9 long an average time is spent during one of
10 the Expo shows by a participant? In other
11 words, do they come for two hours? Do they
12 come for three hours? Four hours?
13 MR. SCHULTZ: Customer or exhibitor?
14 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Customer.
15 MS. McBETH: Mr. Chair, we did not
16 have that information readily available. We
17 could possibly look into that for the next
18 submittal of information.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: It's something that
20 I would be interested in. I know the shows
21 that I have attended in the past I was there
22 two or three hours on the average. However,
23 if I was to enter a trade center that has
24 1,200 vendors I think I'd be there all day.
1 And obviously if you are there two or three
2 hours the turnover of parking may happen two
3 or three times. If I'm there all day I'm
4 taking up a space all day.
5 Is there a study or an anticipated
6 time on the Trade Center for the typical
7 participant or visitor I should say?
8 MR. SMITH: I will endeavor to get you
9 some data on that as well.
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Tide in with that,
11 what are we using as a comparison? I have
12 heard other trade centers mentioned. I
13 personally have never been to one. I
14 haven't been to Gibraltar or the other one
15 that was mentioned in Taylor. So what are
16 we comparing your proposal to? Is there
17 something I can go visit?
18 MR. SMITH: There are a couple in
19 Florida. I am sure the City would send you.
20 Some festival sample in Florida. We'll try
21 to get some information about those if we
22 can and some photographs and that may be
24 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Even a website
1 would be helpful that I could go on-line and
2 do further investigation on that.
3 MR. SMITH: This is a little different
4 concept, but we will try to get you what we
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: We keep comparing
7 the Trade Center to the Expo, but I want to
8 compare the Trade Center to something
9 similar since we're saying they're
10 dissimilar and they're not in competition
11 with one another.
12 MR. SMITH: Okay.
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay, you talked
14 about meeting the occupancy which, of
15 course, has been set up by the fire marshall
16 once that would be set in place. Did I hear
17 you say that you have already secured
18 secondary access?
19 MR. SMITH: We do have secondary
20 access. Pico (ph) will let us use their
21 site for secondary access.
22 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Do we have written
23 document to that effect?
24 MR. SMITH: Julie talked to them and
1 confirmed that with their attorney. We can
2 get you written.
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Please.
4 MEMBER CANUP: Excuse me I was looking
5 for something here. Could you repeat what
6 that question was?
7 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I had asked if they
8 had secured secondary access for
9 (unintelligible), etcetera and they said
10 they verbally received approval and I
11 requested the written documentation.
12 I'm going to come back to these in a
13 minute. While I'm thinking about it, Mr.
14 McCleary, could you come forward and be
15 sworn in. I have a question or two for you,
16 sir, unless you're an attorney.
17 MR. McCLEARY: I'm not an attorney,
19 MEMBER BAUER: Do you swear or affirm
20 to tell the truth regarding Case: 07-059?
21 MR. McCLEARY: Yes.
22 MEMBER BAUER: Thank you, sir.
23 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Please state your
24 name and address.
1 MR. McCLEARY: Daniel McCleary, 19610
2 Wilshire, Beverly Hills.
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you.
4 The first thing that I see that stands
5 out to me is that you indicate that you are
6 not an appraiser and do not appraise
7 property. Do you work with appraisers or do
8 you have access to information on the
9 property? Because I know you'll always look
10 at highest and best use for not only the
11 land but the building as well in an
12 appraised site?
13 MR. McCLEARY: I'm not an appraiser
14 that's correct. Do I work with appraisers?
15 I work with them back and forth helping each
16 other with information. Do I have access to
17 them? Yes, because we communicate through
18 phone, e-mail, whatever, to help each other
19 do what we're doing, you know.
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: But you pulled no
21 information from them for this Affidavit; is
22 that correct?
23 MR. McCLEARY: No.
24 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I got a question
1 mark beside something here. I got to figure
2 out why I put the question mark there. It
3 has to do with NEC sites. Could you go into
4 a little more detail about that for us
6 MR. McCLEARY: Where are you at in
7 the --
8 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: On the second page
9 throughout, actually it starts at point 14
10 Novi Expo Center.
11 MR. McCLEARY: Yes. Fourteen, I can
12 address, I am familiar. I walked through
13 the site here in the last few months a
14 couple of times. As it says I have toured
15 it there on 15. I walked through with
16 several representatives that are here
17 tonight. I also walked through with Roth
18 Construction Engineering Group as it states
19 in 15 with engineering. He is also a
20 commercial and industrial contractor.
21 I have briefly reviewed the traffic
22 studies that were done. I personally have
23 tried to get through there at certain times
24 during the day and take other routes to
1 avoid during peak hours. When I say peak
2 hours I would say the morning rush hour
3 Monday through Friday and also that 4:00 to
4 6:00 hour in the evening I would do my best
5 to avoid it personally. And then -- I can
6 continue on if you so desire.
7 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: If you would skip
8 down please to item 19F when you are
9 referring to the HVAC equipment. I know
10 that there are offices within that property.
11 The offices are currently heat and air
12 conditioned; is that correct?
13 MR. McCLEARY: Yes.
14 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And what we're
15 saying is that the unit is adequate for
16 those but not for an expansion of the office
18 MR. McCLEARY: The current heating and
19 cooling system, I mean, I have seen this in
20 many cases where people have tried to expand
21 it out beyond the existing offices. They do
22 not find it adequate due to the fact that
23 when that building was built, they
24 engineered it for that building not for
1 proposed expansion.
2 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Is any of the
3 building tempered air as opposed to air
5 MR. McCLEARY: When you are saying
6 tempered air do you mean --
7 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Cooled air
8 primarily through fans as opposed to freon
10 MR. McCLEARY: There is minimal
11 exhaust fans that I have seen in the
12 building. How it was used, I don't know.
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Are you familiar,
14 Mr. Adell?
15 MR. ADELL: (Unintelligible.)
16 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Another swearing
18 MR. SMITH: He was sworn in last time.
19 MR. JOSEPH: I was sworn in last time.
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: You are still sworn
21 in then.
22 MR. JOSEPH: Currently all the current
23 HVAC units are all with condensers and freon
24 and such like that. They had an existing
1 updraft system which was more of like a
2 make-up air unit there, but that was
3 abandoned many many years ago and when the
4 current Expo Center came into being or the
5 old Expo Center came into being, they
6 changed that over and put the standard roof
7 top units with condensers and heating and
9 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And you agree that
10 it's not currently adequate to suffice any
11 additional office areas or expansion in that
13 MR. JOSEPH: If you took the existing
14 office areas and expanded it into the
15 warehouse area, you would have extensive
16 modification of the roof top unit, you would
17 have to put in a whole VAV system and whole
18 duct work system. Currently right now they
19 are just roof top units that blow air into
20 like a large vicinity. You would have
21 extensive duct work you would have to do.
22 And since most of those units are upwards to
23 40 years old, probably the demand that an
24 office area would dedicate would probably
1 necessitate either the modifications of the
2 condensers or the total replacement of the
3 units themselves.
4 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you.
5 MEMBER KRIEGER: Mr. Chair, can you
6 have the speaker restate his name.
7 MR. JOSEPH: My name is Chris Joseph
8 with Interior Development Group.
9 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. Even
10 though we know who you are, I guess the
11 audience and our recorder doesn't, so thank
13 In one of the letters, I'm looking at
14 the November 1st, 2007 letter from the
15 Applicant. It says the facility cannot be
16 expanded to the south due to the wetlands
17 for truck wells -- be expanded to build
18 truck wells due to the wetlands. Do we have
19 anything from the City that has indicated
20 that it could not be expanded to the south?
21 MS. McBETH: Mr. Chair, we don't have
22 anything in particular with regard to that.
23 The existing wetlands are kind of the
24 natural area that is located on the south
1 part of the property. I'm not sure where
2 they are coming from about which part of the
3 expansion wouldn't be permitted into that
5 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: That would be
6 something else that I would be looking at
7 would be is there adequate room to expand
8 the truck wells, and if, so, how many could
9 they add? We, of course, would want to make
10 sure that it wouldn't impede upon a wetland
11 or a woodland or anything like that.
12 Yes, sir?
13 MR. SCHULTZ: I guess just a general
14 point on some of the things that are talked
15 about in the last few minutes, the building
16 and things like that. I think with regard
17 to Stout, Risius report we are at a little
18 bit of a disadvantage. We asked to get on
19 the property to take a look and have them
20 get inside the way CB Richard Ellis and Mr.
21 McCleary was. Didn't get that approval and
22 I would hope that as part of the Board's
23 inquiry if you want some understanding of
24 how the City might react to that information
1 you are getting tonight, we would need to
2 have the same sort of access to that
3 property that that their consultants had.
4 So, I am hoping that will be asked for and
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay. Point well
8 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Why don't we
9 address that right now.
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Well, we can. Is
11 there any reason why the City would not be
12 able to have access to the property?
13 MR. ADELL: No, definitely not. I
14 invited the Board there some time --
15 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Please come
17 MR. ADELL: Of course they would be
18 invited there. In fact, we invited the
19 Board some time to come and visit the
20 property and they declined. By all means I
21 didn't know that someone wanted access in
22 the building.
23 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: What Board
1 MR. ADELL: Which Board was it?
2 MR. SMITH: We had suggested that City
3 officials come out and tour the building and
4 take a look at the site and so far they have
5 not taken us up on that offer.
6 MR. SCHULTZ: I think that was a
7 comment, if I may through the Chair,
8 included in the original application or one
9 of the letters saying the Board is invited
10 out there. I don't know if the Board has
11 ever made a site visit. You certainly can,
12 but we're actually interested in a little
13 more in the consults who are sort of on the
14 par with the people who have spoken tonight.
15 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I think what we're
16 looking at is having the experts be able to
17 view the property and be able to address our
18 questions. I'm not sure I would know
19 exactly what I was looking for if I was
21 MR. ADELL: Yeah, by all means, you
22 are welcome.
23 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. One of
24 the other questions I have -- Mr. Smith,
1 perhaps you can address this. Prior to the
2 variance request that you indicated, what
3 marketing efforts were made for the
5 MR. SMITH: Well, the previous
6 occupant of the property, the Novi Expo
7 Center made extensive efforts to market the
8 property. Since they vacated it we've made
9 a number of other efforts. Kevin has a list
10 of folks that he's contacted to try to see
11 particularly for the uses under warehousing
12 and other kinds of uses what they would like
13 to do. And he has contacted some realtors
14 and otherwise about asking what they think
15 he can get for the property. And he is not
16 so far had any kind of adequate response.
17 In fact, at one time Kevin gave me a list of
18 about 60 or 80 people he cold called trying
19 to get them to come in to use it for
20 warehousing and something else and he was
21 turned away.
22 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: That's a list of
23 potential users?
24 MR. SMITH: Yes.
1 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: And the list would
2 include what they were perhaps interested
3 in? Or was it a survey of the potential
4 users as to what they might be interested
6 MR. SMITH: I'll get you that list and
7 detail that.
8 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. I'm not
9 interested in what the Expo previously tried
10 to market it for. They had a market in
11 place and whether they tried --
12 MR. SMITH: Well, what I'm saying is
13 as they vacated it they were trying to find
14 other uses including the auto center to
15 which Mr. Canup referred and so forth and at
16 one point, in fact, they had had discussions
17 with the Festival marketplace folks down in
18 Florida about potentially occupying it. So
19 there have been a number of efforts made to
20 try to market the property.
21 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay, thank you.
22 Yes, I would appreciate that information. I
23 think that's the main questions I had for
24 now. Is there other questions from the
2 Member Sanghvi?
3 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes. I'm just
4 curious, Mr. Smith. Good evening.
5 MR. SMITH: Good evening.
6 MEMBER SANGHVI: I was just looking at
7 your exhibits. I was curious, I wasn't
8 going to ask you but it came up in the
9 conversation today about you have presented
10 the findings of some traffic study for an
11 auto mall or something which --
12 MR. SMITH: There was a 2006 traffic
13 study done by Tetratec.
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yeah, I got this
15 here. I was just curious that do you think
16 that the traffic flow from your proposed
17 center is going to be compatible to this
18 auto mall traffic flow?
19 MR. SMITH: Not during the weekdays,
20 not when the intersections are functioning
21 at their -- not when the road and the
22 intersections are functioning at their worst
23 because the traffic will be generated only
24 on weekends.
1 MEMBER SANGHVI: I just wondered why
2 you thought fit to put that auto mall
3 traffic study here as part of your exhibit?
4 MR. SMITH: Because it's the only
5 traffic study I'm aware of that looks at the
6 site and because City staff had asked about
7 what kinds of information was available.
8 And I think this Board asked in September if
9 we had a traffic study. And that was the
10 only one I had available.
11 MEMBER SANGHVI: Because it was only
12 one it was all about --
13 MR. SMITH: That's right.
14 MEMBER SANGHVI: You didn't really
15 think it was identical to what might happen,
16 did you?
17 MR. SMITH: No, I'm not in any way
18 claiming that it's identical.
19 MEMBER SANGHVI: Thank you. I just
20 wanted to clarify that. Thank you very
22 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you, Member
24 One of the comments I had on that too
1 is I'm concerned that there hasn't been a
2 more recent traffic study. As mentioned
3 before with all the additional buildings and
4 business going into the area and the Expo
5 not being there for two to three years, I am
6 very concerned about the traffic in that
7 area. And you keep talking about the
8 traffic being weekends only and not the peak
9 rush hours, et cetera, during the week, and
10 I agree that there is no, that it may not
11 affect the weekday rush hours, however, on
12 weekends, especially around Christmas and
13 Thanksgiving and some of the prime shopping
14 areas, I'd much rather travel that road
15 during a peak weekday hour than on a weekend
16 especially at the time that there was an
17 Expo center going on.
18 MR. SMITH: I could probably say that
19 regarding any area that's serviced by a
20 regional mall including the two in Grand
21 Rapids and so forth. You certainly can't
22 design traffic flows to accommodate some of
23 those extraordinary peak times because you
24 would have roads that are 20 lanes wide.
1 So, we don't do that.
2 And I too would think that the City
3 would have be interested in getting more
4 traffic studies as it continues to allow
5 other uses to go in. This building has been
6 there for 40 years and it seems to tell this
7 property owner now who has paid taxes all of
8 this time to support the infrastructure who
9 has had a building there that you can't now
10 have a use because we have taken all of the
11 capacity and we have allowed all of these
12 other uses to come in --
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I don't believe
14 anybody said that, sir.
15 MR. SMITH: I understand that. I'm
16 just saying that it would seem, it seems
17 difficult to say that there ought to be a
18 traffic study in connection with this use as
19 opposed to all of the others that have been
20 permitted and allowed over time.
21 MS. McBETH: Mr. Chair, I'm sorry, may
22 I clarify a comment I made earlier?
23 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Certainly.
24 MS. McBETH: There certainly have been
1 traffic studies that have been done over the
2 years and as every project comes in we
3 evaluate it in terms of traffic and whether
4 a traffic study has been needed.
5 I think I was referring to the fact
6 that I didn't think there was a more recent
7 traffic study for this piece of property
8 than the 2006 traffic study that we had.
9 Thank you.
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay. Member
12 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: As I said I
13 may have a couple more followup questions.
14 Your questions actually sparked one of them.
15 First let me state first that this Board
16 member and I can pretty much guarantee for
17 the whole Board would never say that
18 something doesn't have a use, so I can
19 guarantee that.
20 As far as how it was marketed
21 previously and what has been done currently
22 by Mr. Adell, can you elaborate on that?
23 Has it just been cold calls? Has there been
24 a professional marketing service? Has CB
1 Richard Ellis been invited in to try to
2 broker something?
3 MR. SMITH: Why don't I get you all of
4 the detail on that in writing and detail it
5 in a way that makes that pretty clear.
6 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Saying again
7 that I'm an analytical guy I like it.
8 Prior to the Novi Expo Center what
9 occupied that building for the first 20
10 years or so?
11 MR. ADELL: It was Mohawk.
12 MR. SMITH: It was Mohawk. It was a
14 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: As far as
15 using the building as a Trade Center, is
16 alcohol going to be on the premises at all?
17 MR. SMITH: No, we've said that, there
18 won't be any alcohol.
19 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Okay. And
20 then lastly, there was a comment at the
21 September 11th meeting regarding I think it
22 was the Florida festival and Mayor Landry
23 and some meeting in 2004 --
24 MR. SMITH: It was not Mayor Landry.
1 It was a previous major and I can get you
2 that information too if you like. It was a
3 previous Novi mayor at the time that the
4 Novi Expo Center folks were looking at
5 filling that site with Festival marketplace,
6 the previous Novi major visited. Csordas,
7 that his name?
8 MR. SCHULTZ: Mayor Csordas, through
9 the Chair, did while in Florida on other
10 business stop by the site.
11 MR. SMITH: Right.
12 MR. SCHULTZ: I would be happy to
13 provide the information on that if the Board
14 thinks it relevant.
15 MR. SMITH: Right. And I thought I
16 had clarified the record on that.
17 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: It had been
18 brought up by someone who apparently thought
19 it was pertinent and it didn't make any
20 sense because Mayor Landry wasn't mayor
21 then. So I was just hoping for some type of
23 MR. SMITH: Right, that's correct.
24 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: If you feel
1 it's pertinent or if you do, I would be more
2 than happy to look at it. But if you guys
3 don't, then I can drop the subject too.
4 Thank you for allowing me that time
5 for those follow-ups, Mr. Chair.
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you.
7 Member Krieger?
8 MEMBER KRIEGER: For, Mr. Counsel. I
9 lost my train of thought. It was regarding
10 what Mr. Shroyer, our Chair was speaking
11 about. I got to make my thought come back.
12 In regard to today's tough economic
13 times there were comments -- oh, there it
14 goes. The traffic, the complaints in the
15 previous, in the history of the Expo Center
16 how many complaints there were of traffic
17 that weekends even and what did the future
18 idea for the Trade Center, what proposal
19 that could be brought forward to compensate?
20 So you have a traffic study, but what would
21 you propose to alleviate the traffic so that
22 if you brought that in and you have traffic,
23 what are the people's options for traveling?
24 And also somebody had spoke in a
1 previous time in September regarding the
2 tough economic times. How long would we
3 have the Trade Center? Would there be a
4 temporary use variance, could there be done?
5 Or this is something we can't look at?
6 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair, I
7 don't think they have asked for a temporary
8 status on this. And with regard to the
9 traffic issue, you know, I think that the
10 Applicant is going to submit whatever they
11 think is appropriate to address the issues
12 that have come up. We will be happy to look
13 at it. We aren't going to do a traffic
15 It's not inappropriate I don't
16 think for a Board being asked to exercise
17 discretion on a change of use like this to
18 say I want a little bit more information on
19 the traffic. I don't think it's treating
20 the property owner differently for some
21 unreasonable purpose. I mean, they are
22 asking for the variance. I think if you
23 think traffic needs to be studied, then you
24 ask for it. And it sounds like he is going
1 to submit what he thinks is responsive to
2 that. So, as part of that there may be a
3 discussion by the proponent or a consultant
4 as to how they think they can address those
5 issues and we'll have to evaluate it when we
6 get it. We'll have our on staff or our
7 regular retained consultant take a look at
8 whatever they submit and give you a comment.
9 That's all we can do.
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. Is that
11 your last question?
12 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Any other comments
14 from the Board? Member Canup?
15 MEMBER CANUP: I think in our last
16 meeting I expressed some serious concerns
17 about the lack of parking. And since then
18 we have received the report on page two of
19 five the comparison Trade Centers,
20 Exposition Centers and it deals with
21 parking. If my math is somewhere near right
22 here according to this table that's in here
23 you are going to need somewhere in the area
24 of 3,504 sites. I didn't sit down and do it
1 precisely, but that's what it sounds like.
2 And the available sites it sounds like
3 you're somewhere between 900 and 950. And
4 give or take 50 when you've got that big of
5 a deficit it doesn't really matter. It's a
6 major problem and I think in our last
7 meeting I asked that that be addressed and I
8 haven't really seen much come back in a
9 positive manner from the Applicant.
10 And I think until we see something on
11 that and I don't mean just we're going to do
12 this or we're going to do that, I mean
13 something in writing. Something with a
14 lease hold. Something with a deed
16 Another thing also, I worked on the
17 50s Festival when it held its festival there
18 at the Expo Center and we tried the busing,
19 it didn't work. We directed people over to
20 the site over at the office center, I don't
21 remember what it's called. We had signs.
22 We tried everything. It really didn't work.
23 We had continuous busses running around and
24 the bus uses was very little and the traffic
1 jams were horrendous coming into the center.
2 My opinion in this and unless they can
3 show adequate parking contiguous to the
4 site, I'm going to be very difficult to find
5 myself voting in favor of this. Off-site
6 parking does not solve the problem
7 permanently. And whatever we happen to do
8 here whether we approve it, it is going to
9 be with the City for some time to come.
10 It's not going to be a temporary couple
11 weekends a year like we were with the 50s
12 Festival. Had the festival had to put up
13 with it 52 weeks a year I probably -- that
14 did not work. And I saw it firsthand, it
15 didn't work and I would not endorse it. So
16 unless there is some way of coming up with
17 the required spaces or some formula to show
18 that there is enough spaces. Right now I
19 say they're about somewhere in the
20 neighborhood of 3,000 spaces short, which is
21 a humongous amount of parking.
22 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you, Member
24 Well, I was hoping coming in this
1 evening that we would be able to look at
2 motions on the appeal and/or variance this
3 evening but in the discussions that we've
4 had all evening the City and staff or City
5 and attorney counsel are prepared to respond
6 to the information received last Friday.
7 We've asked both the Applicant and the City
8 quite a few additional questions for
9 information that we feel we need pertinent
10 to this case.
11 It looks to me like we're going to
12 have to have some type of continuance. But
13 I will leave it up to the Board if they want
14 to come forward with a motion or if we want
15 to continue to discuss the matter?
16 Member Fischer?
17 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: As I stated in
18 my opening remarks I think we threw out a
19 lot of questions. There is a lot of
20 questions that were asked that we have
21 certain criteria that we need to meet in
22 order to approve or deny and quite frankly
23 those answers have not been put forth in
24 front of us.
1 So, as stated, I would like to see
2 some type of final information deadline and
3 I would like your opinion on that? Like I
4 said, I want to get to the point where we
5 get the final information fax only from the
6 two sides because you guys can, you guys can
7 sit back and forth and debate the meaning of
8 a single word for years. So, how can we go
9 about getting some final facts in front of
10 us and making a decision moving forward for
11 the Applicant as well as for the City?
12 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair, in
13 terms of responding to what's been submitted
14 so far, it's not a long time, ten days, a
15 week or whatever. The only thing that I
16 think may need a little bit of cushion on is
17 the idea of getting Stout, Risius, Ross into
18 the building to take a look at the kinds of
19 things that were discussed today by Mr.
20 McCleary and Mr. Smith regarding the status
21 of the building.
22 I'm told by Mr. Tomlinson here by
23 shaking his head that he can get there
24 fairly quickly. I don't know how soon we
1 can generate some kind of report and react
2 to what it is they submit. So, if we can
3 have seven days they submit their materials
4 on that issue, I think we would be fine.
5 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: How much time would
6 the Applicant need? In other words, do we
7 want to move forward on this?
8 MR. SMITH: I understand you want to
9 move forward on it, but I understand you
10 also want to move forward on it with
11 information in enough time to digest that
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Exactly.
14 MR. SMITH: And Mr. Schultz wants that
15 information with more than a couple days,
16 that's why we adjourned in October because
17 what he thought was going to take a couple
18 of weeks ended up taking closer to four.
19 And that's not a shot, that's just an
20 explanation that it took longer to put it
21 all together and it took us longer to put
22 together our response than we thought. And
23 Tom and I talked about that and he said it
24 just took some time to gather all the
2 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: While you're
3 discussing that, I think what we're looking
4 for is some type of time frame date wise
5 that would allow the Board time to review
6 everything prior to the December meeting.
7 If that can't be done, we may have to go to
8 a special meeting or even postpone until a
9 January meeting.
10 Yes, sir?
11 MR. SMITH: I think we need about
12 three weeks.
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Three weeks would
14 -- do we have a calendar there? If they
15 need three weeks, how soon could we get the
17 MR. SCHULTZ: That sort of rules out
18 the December meeting.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: That's what I was
20 afraid of.
21 MR. SCHULTZ: Because you would have a
22 week to review it and depending on what they
23 submit, you are going to want some kind of
24 reaction. I don't know whether you are
1 looking at the January 8th meeting or some
2 special meeting some time in December.
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Coming up with
4 another special meeting just prior to the
5 Holidays would be very difficult.
6 Member Canup?
7 MEMBER CANUP: Did I understand we are
8 going to have another traffic study or ask
9 for an updated traffic study?
10 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I didn't ask for
11 one specifically. Has anyone asked for one?
12 Ms. McBeth?
13 MS. McBETH: Through the Chair, I
14 think it's up to the Board whether the Board
15 would like to see a traffic study related to
16 this particular use. We could certainly ask
17 the Applicant to do that. We would be happy
18 to provide whatever additional information
19 we have collected over the years through the
20 various traffic studies that were done if
21 they would like to have a consultant get
22 started on that.
23 MR. SCHULTZ: I guess to followup on
24 that. You could impose that requirement on
1 them, but I think it's okay also to leave it
2 to them and they can decide whether or not
3 they think they have proved whatever the
4 traffic issues are. I'm a little reluctant
5 to require the traffic study, but the Board
6 has the ability to do that if that's what
7 you want to do.
8 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Member Canup?
9 MEMBER CANUP: Also my understanding
10 from your previous comments was that, maybe
11 it was Ms. McBeth, that the Planning
12 Commission would have jurisdiction over
13 off-site parking?
14 MS. McBETH: That's correct. The
15 Zoning Ordinance requires parking within on
16 site or within a certain distance of the
17 site. I think that they would need to
18 demonstrate where that parking was located.
19 You would have to take a look at that and
20 probably talk with Mr. Schultz about exactly
21 how the approvals would take place. But the
22 Planning Commission would get to take a look
23 at that as well.
24 MEMBER CANUP: Who should act first?
1 MR. SCHULTZ: Through the Chair, I
2 think that this Board should. I don't think
3 you want to get site plan ahead of the use
4 variance issue. I think what Ms. McBeth has
5 said is parking is relevant to whether or
6 not the use fits. Evaluating a site
7 plan-type analysis of where the parking is
8 is something that I think the staff can do
9 rather than the Planning Commission.
10 As a practical matter I think what Ms.
11 McBeth is saying is if you were to approve
12 the use variance and it were to be a
13 permitted use, there would be a planning
14 portion, a site planning portion where the
15 Planning Commission would have to sort of
16 actually approve it as a site plan issue.
17 The staff I think is capable of reviewing,
18 making a professional recommendation on
19 whatever it is they submit regarding
21 MEMBER CANUP: And the reason for
22 asking that question and getting
23 clarification is, we want to make sure that
24 we don't get a surprise at our next meeting
1 that this comes before us whether it be in
2 January or February or whatever that time
3 will be.
4 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: What is the
5 Applicant's feeling about January 8th, is
6 that too far down the road? Can we move
7 things up?
8 MR. ADELL: We can do April, May, it
9 doesn't matter. It's not going anywhere.
10 The end is I'll be there.
11 MR. SMITH: We're, of course, anxious
12 to get it underway. There is a huge demand
13 for this and everyday the property is
14 sitting fallow. On the other hand, we want
15 to make sure we fully address the Board's
16 questions and if January is the time, then
17 January is the time. I recognize by saying
18 we need three weeks that kind of pushes it
19 beyond December.
20 If you are looking for a traffic
21 study, even the January date would probably
22 be tough. I do a lot of this from your side
23 of the table. A traffic study is going to
24 take 90 to 120 days minimum.
1 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I don't think
2 anybody is specifically asking for that. If
3 you have information you want to provide
4 that's fine, but we're not going to require
5 a traffic study.
6 MR. SCHULTZ: So without the need for
7 the traffic study I think Mr. Fischer's
8 point is well taken, though, that the three
9 weeks that they need is essentially to close
10 the record and let the Board do its review
11 internally and be ready to presumably,
12 assuming they get all the questions
13 answered, make some kind of determination on
14 January 8th.
15 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: And I think I
16 would also urge both Counsel for the City as
17 well as the Applicant to stick primarily to
18 the facts and not some of the other
19 information that I was unfortunately sadden
20 to see in some of these memorandums. I
21 think I would like to see sticking to the
22 questions that were asked today. With all
23 due respect to both of you, of course.
24 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Something else
1 while we're discussing things that I want to
2 make sure to ask for. We received obviously
3 the Affidavit from Ms. Secor from her
4 research and her study of what was being
5 marketed from the Expo. But I would like to
6 see some information received from the Expo
7 themselves. Quite often there is a
8 difference between reality and marketing or
9 advertising. It may match up identically,
10 but it may be some differences and I would
11 like to see some type of response. So if
12 the City could approach somebody with the
13 Expo and get information from them as well
14 prior to the next meeting for our packet, I
15 would appreciate it. So, do we have a
16 motion for tabling?
17 MR. SMITH: Mr. Chairman, if we're
18 going to delay until January, would it be
19 all right if I had four weeks? That would
20 give Mr. Schultz still three weeks beyond
21 that to respond prior to your meeting?
22 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I don't see any --
23 MR. SMITH: Does that work for you,
24 Mr. Schultz?
1 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Let's select a
2 date. I don't want to just say four weeks.
3 Select a date. If we have a calendar in
4 front of us.
5 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: I think Mr.
6 Smith is looking up a date four weeks from
8 MR. SMITH: That would be December 3.
9 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay, that would
10 work. December 3 and then we will -- I'll
11 entertain a motion to have that included in
12 the motion and have it tabled until the
13 January 8th meeting. If somebody cares to
14 make a motion.
15 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: I would go
16 ahead and move that we table Case number:
17 07-059 for the purpose of obtaining
18 additional factual information as requested
19 by the Board giving the Applicant's Counsel
20 until December 3rd, to submit their
21 documentation and requested information to
22 the City on that date.
23 MEMBER BAUER: Second.
24 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: We will
1 postpone this case to the January 8th, 2008
3 MR. SMITH: That's Tuesday, January
5 MS. WORKING: That's correct.
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: We have a motion
7 and a second. I'll open it up for further
9 One other comment I want to make is
10 that I would like our counsel, City counsel
11 to prepare a, I would say a motion for both
12 sides, an approval and denial for the appeal
13 as well as the variance that the Board could
14 look at for consideration of usage or
16 And if Mr. Smith would care to make
17 the same, he is welcomed to do so and
18 present it as part of the packet.
19 MR. SMITH: Is it all right if I just
20 do the motions for approval?
21 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: I don't know why
22 you would only do that one? Absolutely, you
24 MR. SCHULTZ: So, as I understand it
1 you want for the January 8th meeting motions
2 from our perspective going both ways?
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Yes, sir.
4 MR. SCHULTZ: Mr. Smith will submit
5 what he submits?
6 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Yes, sir.
7 MR. SCHULTZ: They've got four weeks
8 and we get some response time after that.
9 We will get in what we can regarding the
10 Friday's submission as soon possible and
11 then hopefully it won't be that much
12 response to what Mr. Smith submitted.
13 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: In the interim if
14 there any information that can be forwarded
15 that we could review, that would always be
16 helpful as opposed to getting a stack at the
17 end and then trying to cram for several days
18 or several weeks, we would appreciate that.
19 MR. SMITH: Sure.
20 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Any further
21 discussion? Member Bauer?
22 MEMBER BAUER: I don't see where we've
23 got an amount of actual number of vehicles
24 parking for the square footage that we have.
1 Have you put that through yet?
2 MS. McBETH: Through the Chair. We
3 did have some numbers related to the parking
4 standards. We can provide something more
5 explicit for you if you WOULD like for the
6 next round.
7 MEMBER BAUER: Well, I'm looking at
8 these, the Expo, the Gibraltar Trade Center
9 4,000 spaces, 300,000 square feet. Mount
10 Clemens, the same. All of them are well
11 over 2,000. I am wondering is that is a
12 requirement that these individual cities
13 have demanded or is it what they just have?
14 MS. McBETH: And again, through the
15 Chair. This is what we have looked at for
16 what they currently have. We didn't look
17 into necessarily what the requirements were.
18 There was additional chart that was provided
19 that did talk about the size of the
20 buildings and the districts that they were
21 permitted in.
22 I believe that we did not have the
23 parking standards for each community, but we
24 did provide the average number of spaces
1 provided overall for each of those
2 facilities that was evaluated. We thought
3 that information might be hopeful to the
5 MEMBER BAUER: Yes, it would. Thank
7 MS. McBETH: Thank you.
8 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you. We have
9 motion on the floor. It was a motion by
10 Member Fischer and seconded by Member Bauer.
11 Robin, would you please call the roll.
12 MS. WORKING: Member Fischer?
13 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Aye.
14 MS. WORKING: Member Bauer?
15 MEMBER BAUER: Yes.
16 MS. WORKING: Member Sanghvi?
17 MEMBER SANGHVI: Yes.
18 MS. WORKING: Chairman Shroyer?
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Yes.
20 MS. WORKING: Member Krieger?
21 MEMBER KRIEGER: Yes.
22 MS. WORKING: Member Canup?
23 MEMBER CANUP: Yes.
24 MS. WORKING: Motion to table to the
1 January 8th meeting with materials submitted
2 for a deadline of December 3rd passes 6-0.
3 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Thank you.
4 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
5 Thank you Board members.
7 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Okay, moving on.
8 The next item on the agenda is other
9 matters. Is there any other matters to
10 discuss this evening?
11 MS. WORKING: Not this evening, Mr.
13 VICE-CHAIRMAN FISCHER: Motion to
15 MEMBER SANGHVI: Second.
16 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: All in favor say
18 BOARD MEMBERS: Aye.
19 CHAIRMAN SHROYER: Meeting is
21 (The meeting was adjourned at
22 9:15 p.m.)
1 C E R T I F I C A T E
4 I, Mona L. Talton, do hereby certify
5 that I have recorded stenographically the
6 proceedings had and testimony taken in the
7 above-entitled matter at the time and place
8 hereinbefore set forth, and I do further
9 certify that the foregoing transcript,
10 consisting of (87) typewritten pages, is a
11 true and correct transcript of my said
12 stenographic notes.
19 Mona L. Talton,
20 Certified Shorthand Reporter
22 November 9, 2007